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April 7, 2021

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On Tuesday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis made the media circuit, discussing Major League Baseball's announcement that the All-Star Game will be played at Coors Field -- as the alternative after the yanking of the game from Atlanta.

 

I saw Polis with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, top shot;  and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, bottom. 

 

Here's the video from O'Donnell's "The Last Word." The segment with Blitzer was similar.     

 

Polis was affable in both appearances, and I assume many others Tuesday. He quickly answered the questions about attempts to equate Colorado's existing voting laws and practices with Georgia's abominable Senate Bill 202, signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25. Polis rattled off the talking-point highlights before trying to lighten the conversations. Suddenly, he was talking baseball. He was the geek keeping score in the seats in front of you. I thought he was going to bring up WAR, RISP, WHIP, OPS and what the word "rake" means. I was waiting for him to say he hopes peanuts, Cracker Jack and sunflower seeds will be allowed at Coors Field by the time the All-Stars gather in Denver.

 

He even said grumpy Mitch McConnell would be welcome.       

 

At the White House, also on Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki fielded a question from Fox's Peter Doocy on the matter at the daily briefing. What's most hilarious -- and this cuts both ways -- is that when I searched for video of the exchange, the stories, Tweets or captions with it portrayed it as either:

 

a) an embarrassing Fox putdown of Psaki and the White House; OR,

 

b) an embarassing Psaki and White House putdown of  Doocy and Fox.

 

Those opposite conclusions were drawn from the SAME video.  

 

In this case, I don't believe it's inconsistent to note -- as even the Washington Post did in its explainer piece -- that some have misportrayed aspects of the Georgia laws, mainly because even more onorous provisions didn't make it to the passed legislation. Most notably, a ban on Sunday voting -- proposed in early drafts of the legislation -- didn't stick. What remains, though, is objectionable enough and transparent in its intent to supress, rather than encourage, voting.        

 

I'm not crunching either Georgia or Colorado's laws, provision-by-provision, number-by-number. All of that is readily available. Polis didn't just make those Colorado numbers up. Also, most important, voters in his state know -- or should know -- how utterly ridiculous it is to portray their state's voting laws as similar to Georgia's new legislation.

 

It's this simple, and I mean that on several levels. Our ballots automatically come in the mail well in advance of the election day. We fill them out. We take them to a drop box at a nearby recreation center. We're done. The "I approved this message" campaigning continues, but we've made our choices. 

 

I can't even tell you the last time I voted at a precinct site in Colorado on Election Day. I do fondly recall the feeling of satisfaction it gave me to flip the little levers, most notably for Jimmy Carter. 

 

And the MLB All-Star Game?

 

It's not insensitive to listen to, and consider, the argument that moving it out of Atlanta actually does a disservice to a significant portion of the city and area populace, including many whose voting rights are at the heart of the matter. It still had to be done. It's also understandable to be a bit skeptical of the complete sincerity of Georgia-based companies -- including Delta, Home Deport and Coca-Cola -- issuing statements of voting rights support. That came after they faced calls for consumer boycotts of the companies because of their contributions to Georgia politicians involved in the passage of the legislation, and also the companies' lack of decisive denunciation of the bill as it was being put together and debated. (So now the calls for boycotts are coming from No. 45 on your scorecard and his supporters.) 

 

Yet if the starting-point contention about the alleged unfairness of moving the game to Denver is the baseless assertion that the two states involved -- Georgia and Colorado -- have similar voting laws and practices, the rest of the argument is impossible to take seriously.

 

Postscripts:

 

Here's the Huff Post story on the Psaki-Doocy exchange, with video. 

 

Here's another explainer from Colorado Public Radio's Andrew Kenney and Caitlyn Kim, posted on the Fort Collins Coloradoan site.  

  

 

 
     

 

terry@terryfrei.com

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